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Publisher's Summary

With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall masters from Balzac to Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers - a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village - will be thrust together, forced to share a cramped apartment and an uncertain future.

As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.

©1995 Rohinton Mistry; (P)2001 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Giller Prize Winner, 1995

"Mistry...needs no infusion of magic realism to vivify the real. The real world, through his eyes, is magical." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

A Fine Balance

Excellent listen.... Unique and poignant. Don't expect a "feel good" Hollywood happy ending. Unfortunate that it was abridged.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

DON'T RENT THIS UNABRIDGED VERSION

This unabridged version of the book loses the nuance and beauty that make Mistry's writing great. The reader may be a wonderful cookbook writer, but she's a bored, flat, and grating as a narrator.

Please join me in protesting the lack of an UNABRIDGED VERSION.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not a great abridgement, but good narrator

The narrator was very good, and while it is difficult to abridge such a long book down to 6 hours, it could have been done better - with bridging sentences in between sections where large cuts were made. Transitions were disjoined and clearly left out info that listener needed to know.

I found the story horribly depressing, with tiny bits of hope in these characters' lives that were soon squashed. Wish I could be more positive...

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Donna
  • Pensacola, FL, United States
  • 03-30-13

Well Done!!

"Life is a Fine Balance between hope and despair", and I found this book an excellent listen. It was well done, well read, and sits with me still now that I'm done. I highly recommend you take the chance and read it. You will not be disappointed.